Amidst the turmoil that currently surrounds its parent company, Facebook, it turns out that one of Instagram's saving grace may be in its original founders' continued influence on and vision for the platform. That's not to say that both companies haven't had a profound impact on one another, but Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom have reportedly gone to great lengths to maintain the application's core purpose. In fact, according to a recent insider story published by Bloomberg, the pair may have gone so far as to actively refuse to change the platform prior to Mark Zuckerberg's personal request. In one instance, that meant holding off on building a feature that mimics those of its largest rival, Snapchat – namely, its Stories feature. However, while that particular move may have placed Instagram on a more successful trajectory, in other cases the changes haven't been so positive. In those instances, Krieger and Systrom's responses to public reactions have arguably been far better than Zuckerberg's own with Facebook.
One potent example that can be highlighted is in at least one of the ways that Instagram has been influenced not by other similar platforms, but by Facebook. In many ways, Zuckerberg has not been incorrect in identifying that the two entities are effectively a single company now. Instagram has taken a decidedly ad-driven approach and is now a major contributor to its parent company's profit margins. With that said, Facebook's legal team is also responsible for changes to Instagram policies regarding the use of user data. When those were redrafted, a change was thrown in which effectively granted the company the right to sell user photos. That's a big deal because photos are the primary means of communication on Instagram and the changes didn't sit well with more observant users who were eager to put the two companies' relationship under the microscope. Kriger and Systrom's response to public outcry over the policy seems to have been both swift and meaningful. Upon witnessing an acceleration of account removals, the co-founders promptly replaced that particular section of policy with the same policy that had previously been in place.
There is, of course, still concern that Instagram's dependence on advertising and its growing popularity, compared to Facebook, could lead to moves that the public wouldn't deem desirable. But Krieger and Systrom's commitment to their platform has been a key component in keeping Instagram growing and at least some of that seems to center around refusals to abuse the trust of users. That's something Facebook could obviously learn from. Although each of the two companies will almost certainly continue influencing the other, it might even be argued that influence could ultimately prove positive for both.